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MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders to Partner with Mercy Autism Center

Affiliation will expand autism care, education and research in Missouri

April 07, 2014

Story Contact(s):
Jesslyn Chew, ChewJ@missouri.edu, (573) 882-8353

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Officials from the University of Missouri Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders have announced plans to partner with St. Louis-based Mercy Autism Center in order to expand clinical care, professional education and research for individuals and families affected by autism spectrum disorders.

“This partnership will increase the Thompson Center’s ability to train more professionals, students and families in the best practices for autism care,” said Stephen Kanne, Thompson Center executive director. “In addition, working with Mercy will help the Thompson Center expand its research efforts and further develop clinical care for those affected by autism in the St. Louis area and throughout the state.”

The affiliation includes Mercy Autism Center’s adoption of the MU Thompson Center’s best practices for autism, the collaborative use of the guidelines described in the Missouri Autism Guidelines Initiative (MAGI) publications, and the goal of using research findings to inform and improve autism care.

“This partnership capitalizes on the clinical strengths of the staff at the Mercy Autism Center and brings nationally recognized expertise in care, research and education from the MU Thompson Center to the St. Louis region,” said Dr. John Mantovani, medical director of the Mercy Kids Therapy and Development Center and chair of pediatrics at Mercy Children’s Hospital.

“Dr. Mantovani and I have worked together for years, and a great example of our prior collaboration was our work on the Missouri Autism Guidelines Initiative Best Practice guide, which is used across the state and even nationally,” Kanne said. “I look forward to our continued partnership both personally and with our respective organizations to further the field of autism research, training and care in Missouri.”

The MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders is a national leader in confronting the challenges of autism and other developmental conditions through its collaborative research, training and service programs. Based on the medical home model, MU Thompson Center diagnostic, assessment and treatment services emphasize family-centered care that is comprehensive, coordinated, compassionate, culturally sensitive, and accessible. The center aims to support families from the point of initial contact through access to needed services in the community with routine follow-up care over time to ensure the best possible outcome for each child and family.

Mercy Kids is a network of pediatric care dedicated to meeting the needs of every child, every day.  It is powered by over 700 pediatricians and family doctors in partnership with 125 pediatric specialists. Anchored by two acute care pediatric hospitals in St. Louis and Springfield, Mo., Mercy Kids offers a full range of services to support healthy childhoods, including pediatric, specialty and educational services.

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